Dear Members,

There will be an Open meeting for all staff on Thursday 16th Sept, 12.30-1.30pm (link will be sent shortly)

Hear about SMT’s plans to cut jobs and restructure professional services, and talk about how staff can fight back. All staff are welcome.

SMT’s “Recovery Plan” includes plans for £4m worth of job cuts in just one year (which may mean around 80-100 workers losing their jobs). £2m of that is to come from professional services, £1.3m of which will be taken from student facing services.

SMT has made clear that student facing services including departmental admin support – will be the first to be cut, with other areas of professional services and then academic departments to follow later in the year.

The plans involve axing jobs and replacing them with a smaller number of “standardised and consolidated” roles under the centralised control of SMT. SMT also plans to “move some processes online and introduce more self-service” in order to save money.

These cuts would:

  • Abolish senior departmental staff who play a vital role in running departments
  • Significantly increase the workload of academic and remaining professional services staff
  • Cause administrative chaos: these cuts rely on new IT systems that have not yet been developed and which may well malfunction
  • Harm student experience by reducing the amount of support available to students

What is more, while SMT argues these cuts are in the interests of students, they have not consulted students fully on their implications.

Though SMT’s own policies commit to “early and meaningful consultation with the recognised Trade Unions”, these plans have already been outlined to HoDs and by all-staff email, without prior discussion with the unions. The proposed “consultation” looks to be a rubber-stamping exercise – and it begins during Induction Week, when professional services staff will be at their busiest.

Goldsmiths UCU, Goldsmiths UNISON, the Students Union and a majority of HoDs oppose the plans. If we take a firm stand from the start and commit to united action, we can beat these cuts.

Yours in solidarity,
Goldsmiths’ UNISON Branch